Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens Teacher Training


Welcome to the journey of becoming an MSC-Teens Teacher!

This journey requires a big heart and a passion for the well-being of teens. The MSC-T Teacher Online Training establishes a basic level of proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public.

The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. Becoming an MSC-Teen Teacher is a wholehearted endeavor and a rich experience for those who choose to embark on this path. The teacher training pathway is designed for those who wish to teach the full 8-Week MSC-Teen course as well as those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion into their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.) and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).

Apply for upcoming Teens Teacher Training:

Live Online Teacher Training Teens 5 – October 7 – December 16, 2024, Mondays from 4:00 – 7:00pm PT with Karen Bluth and Marina Barnes

Supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion welcomes applications from people from diverse backgrounds and is committed to creating diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in all of its training programs. Read here about scholarships for people of color, historically marginalized and underserved communities.

Fulfilling the Required Prerequisites

The required prerequisites for taking the MSC-T Teacher Training course are:

  • Established daily mindfulness practice of at least two years
  • Ongoing, daily, sitting meditation practice
  • Ongoing practice of loving-kindness and self-compassion in daily life
  • Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course, 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive or 10-week Live Online MSC (LOMSC).
  • Attendance in a least one 3-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat
  • Experience working with teens in an education or clinical setting, preferably in groups

Becoming MSC-T Teacher Overview

Step 1: Teen Teacher Training Course

Teen Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 10-Week Live Online (LOTT) format or 5-week Live Online Intensive.

Step 2: Zoom Mentor Teen Sessions

Teen Teachers-in-Training are required to register for 5 online Zoom Mentor Sessions. Register Here.

Step 3: MSC-T Teacher Certification

CMSC intends to support MSC-T teachers in becoming Certified as the program further matures and develops

Step 1 – MSC-T Teacher Training Course

Duration / Format: Residential – 6 Days or Live Online – 10 weeks or unique 5-week intensive this summer
Cost: $1920.00

Apply now and upon acceptance you will be emailed a registration link:

Live Online Teacher Training Teens 5 – October 7 – December 16, 2024, Mondays from 4:00 – 7:00pm PT with Karen Bluth and Marina Barnes

Step 2 – Zoom Consultation Sessions while Co-Teaching your First MSC-T Course

Duration / Format: Live Online – 5 sessions
Cost: $500.00
  • 5 sessions, 45 minutes each
  • Total contact time: 3.75 hours
  • CEU credits are NOT available
  • Participants will select from our list of Zoom Mentors indicated in their email once they  sign up for these consultations. Participants can reach out to a Zoom mentor and together with the Zoom Mentor, they will decide upon the meeting schedule.

Step 3 – Apply for Trained Teacher status

Once you have completed the Prerequisites and the steps of Becoming a Trained Teens Teacher, outlined above, you can apply for Trained Teens MSC Teacher status. You will receive a certificate and be listed as a Trained Teacher on the MSC course directory.

Training Objectives

  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight sessions of MSC-T.
  • Understand the rationale for the modifications made from the adult MSC program
  • Describe different ways of involving parents so that they can appropriately engage and support their teens in their practice
  • Identify obstacles for teens to learning mindful self-compassion practice and strategies to overcome them.
  • Deepen their understanding of key elements in teaching mindfulness and self-compassion practice to teens.

How to Approach the Training

Our ability to teach others depends largely on embodying the practice and discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives. Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, and a common commitment to presence and compassion.  Teens require authenticity and transparency; a strong practice of our own enables us to support the journey of these young minds and hearts with depth and wisdom.

The Teacher Training course is offered in two formats – residential and live online. Sessions include:

  • Condensed, experiential review of each of the MSC-T sessions
  • “Teachback” sessions to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion
  • Short talks, group exercises, discussion and periods of silence
  • Close consultation with the Teacher Trainers
  • Full attendance is required to successfully complete the program and move to the next step. Accomodations may be made in exceptional situations.

Structure: Residential Teacher Training

Cost: TBD USD (not including room and board)

Residential Teacher Training is an intensive course held at a retreat venue. Staying on site is typically required to avoid disruption, enhance group cohesion and deepen the experience.

  • 6 full days and 5 nights
  • Start time is generally 3pm on day one and ends after lunch on day 6.
  • CEU credits may be available, please check individual course details
  • Scholarships may be available, please check individual course details

*Please review our refund policy here.

Structure: Live Online MSC-T Teacher Training

Cost: $1920 USD

Live Online Teacher Training provides a more intimate, personalized experience with more contact between trainees and trainers and more time to practice and process learning between sessions.

The training is built around the eight weekly classes and includes opportunities to practice teaching in small groups, with the close consultation of the teacher trainers.

The following elements are included:

  • One initial introductory 3-hour sessions in the first week.
  • For a total of eight-weeks where each week consists of:
  • 1.5 hours of the MSC-T course
  • 1.5 hours “teachback” practicing teaching in small groups
  • A final 3-hour wrap-up session to address next steps, nuts and bolts of teaching MSC-T and CMSC policies, procedures, and ethical guidelines.
  • Training includes full participation in the entire MSC-T teacher training.

Trained Teacher Eligibility Summary

The MSC-T program was created to be led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. We know that self-compassion can activate strong emotions and that teens’ emotions can be unpredictable. It is important for teachers to be able to hold a safe container and support the group. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MSC-T teacher (in the instance that a second MSC-T teacher is not available), be a licensed mental health clinician.

While co-teaching your first 8-week course, teachers-in-training must enroll in five Zoom Mentor Sessions. These sessions will consist of one on one online zoom consultations with the MSC-T Zoom Mentor of your choosing. These Individual Zoom Mentor Sessions will support you around all of the aspects of teaching your first 8-week MSC-T course, and provide space for questions, concern and additional guidance.

To be eligible to apply for Trained Teacher status after completing this step, the following is required:

  • Your MSC-T course must have at least 5 registered participants.
  • You must have a co-teacher or assistant, very few exceptions are granted.
  • You should be co-teaching at least 50% of the course.
  • Your course must follow the MSC-T curriculum and not be a modification or adaptation of the curriculum.

The Research

Several research studies demonstrating the positive outcomes of MSC-T have been published. In the first pilot study (Bluth et al.., 2016), findings indicated decreases in depression, anxiety, stress, and negative affect after a 6-session class. Findings in the second pilot study (Bluth & Eisenlohr-Moul, 2017) demonstrated decreases in stress, and increases in resilience, positive risk-taking (willingness to take on new challenges) and gratitude after the course was over.

Further, a within-person analysis indicated that increases in mindfulness and self-compassion were associated – and therefore likely responsible – for the decreases in depressive symptoms and stress; additionally, increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in anxiety and increases in self-compassion were associated with increases in positive risk-taking and resilience. Another study published in 2021 by Donovan, Bluth, Scott, Mohammed, and Cousineau demonstrated that MSC-T was feasible when taught to students on a college campus, and that perceived stress decreased from pre- to post-program.

Most recently, Bluth and colleagues published a study in 2022 in which MSC-T was taught to transgender and gender-expansive teens. Findings demonstrated that anxiety and depression decreased significantly from pre- to post-program, and self-compassion, mindfulness, life satisfaction and resilience improved significantly over this time. Furthermore, at three months follow-up, significant improvements were observed in factors related to suicidal thoughts.

I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to participate in the first teacher training of MSC-T. It was an absolute gift to see the beautiful sequencing of this material, as well as the heartfelt incorporation of so many of the key components of MSC. Karen and Lorraine’s work on this program demonstrates an exquisite example of the development of curriculum for a new population… I was touched to see the beautiful duo of Karen and Lorraine, as co-teachers/trainers they modeled genuine love and respect for each other and a deep trust and knowledge of the material. It is an exciting and hopeful time for MSC-T. – Michelle Bobowick, Teacher Training Participant

Scholarship Information

Recognizing the societal importance of self-compassion training and the financial realities that many prospective teachers, especially people from diverse and historically underserved communities may face, CMSC offers a limited number of partial scholarships to attend the MSC Teacher Training Course and Teacher Training Practicum.

If you identify as a person of color, are a member of historically marginalized or underserved communities, or wish to actively serve these populations and communities, and would like to request a partial scholarship, please state this explicitly (and in some detail) on your application form and we will do our best to support you.

If you attend a Residential Teacher Training that is hosted by an organization other than CMSC, please visit the host’s course page. Scholarships are sometimes available to cover part of the tuition and/or accommodation fees, depending on the host venue.

Scholarships for Live Online Teacher Training and in-person Teacher Trainings organized by CMSC can be requested directly on the application form. We would like to support you as best we can so please reach out if you have any questions about scholarships and discounts available.

Note: In order to be considered for a scholarship, Live Online Teacher Training applications are due one month prior to the course start date, and in-person Teacher Training applications are due three months prior to the course start date. Please visit each course page for more details. 

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